Paramount sued over ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ copyright by author’s heirs

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The family of the writer whose story launched the 1986 “Top Gun” film has sued Paramount Pictures, claiming the studio had failed to obtain the rights to the story. blockbuster sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.”

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The original “Top Gun” was based on a magazine story by Ehud Yone titled “Top Guns”, which focused on fighter pilots at a naval training base. According to the lawsuit, Paramount secured the exclusive motion picture rights to the story shortly after it was published in 1983.

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Yone’s widow and sons, Shosh and Yuval Yone, sued in federal court in Los Angeles on Monday, claiming copyright infringement because Paramount’s rights to the magazine’s story expire in 2020, the suit says. Tom Cruise-starrer “Top Gun: Maverick” has grossed nearly $550 million worldwide since its record-breaking debut on Memorial Day weekend, according to tracking site Box Office Mojo.

“But for the author’s literary efforts and evocative prose and fiction, Paramount’s beloved film franchise would not exist,” the suit says.

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The representative said the claims are without merit, and the company plans to defend itself. The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent Paramount from distributing the film while the trial is pending. The suit does not specify how much the rights may be of importance today.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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